So Brave

I’m committed to the Inner Circle of Influence concept. This simple yet powerful concept refers to the things in our lives that we can control and have the ability to influence, such as our thoughts, behaviours, and attitudes. The Inner Circle of Influence distils ‘noise’ into a pragmatic approach to elements of our lives where we have control and can make a difference.

A tangible outcome of this approach is a two-way benefit in all my interactions, where I am always listening with empathy, and seeking to understand the perspective of others. It means taking responsibility for my life and actions by defining goals and working towards them. Prioritising time and focusing on what’s most important – and right now for me it’s sharing these thoughts with you; tomorrow it will be a toddler jam session at our local community arts centre with my son.

Importantly, the Inner Circle of Influence concept encourages a commitment to continuously improve myself through self-reflection and personal development.

This continuous improvement has been an important undercurrent as to why I am still here, loving my work in communication, brand impact and strategic design after so many years.

I push myself to confront uncertainty and fear. I’m quite determined and am generally ok with stepping outside my comfort-zone.

And as we approach our 27th year of continuous operation at HM, I think to myself, so brave!

But how am I like this? How did I get here? How did we get here? Why am I so brave?

Do you ever ask yourself these questions?

My mother Guza Bugeja is a Maltese migrant who came to Melbourne as a young woman in the 60s seeking a life she dreamed for herself and future family. She spoke no English and owned very little. Miguel’s mother Gloria Valenzuela fled the Pinochet regime in Chile, seven months pregnant, offered refuge in either Australia or Canada.

We have many other similar stories that speak of courage and strength from within our families alone. Women who paved our way include:

Guza Bugeja
Gloria Valenzuela
Abuelita Rosa Valenzuela
Nanna Theresa Grima
Nanna Carmen Bugeja
Belinda Eynaud
Julia Eynaud
Nonna Silvia Eynaud
Abuela Flor De Maria
Mirella Ospina
Laura Santos
Liliana Delgado
Laura Zapata

With thanks to them, we are brave and strong, with an authentic understanding of diversity. We understand that diversity is not just a buzzword or a checkbox to be ticked, but a crucial aspect of creativity and innovation.

Like courage and strength, diversity is in our DNA. It’s what sets us apart, and allows us to approach each project with a fresh perspective and to think outside the box ultimately leading to better outcomes for our clients. And this passed-down courage and strength will guarantee so much more in the future for me and my own children.

If you’re feeling courageous, email with your postal address. I’ll mail you one of our “So Brave” cards. This card is intended to serve as a reminder of your own journey, and the women who have helped pave the way for you.



Image credit: They Who Paved Our Way, 2023.

Nancy Bugeja is Director of HM, a purpose-driven creative agency globally recognised for meaningful work that gets results. HM empower bold organisations and brands through beautifully crafted strategic design.